Friday 21 February 2014

you stopped the blood and made my head soft....

Earworms of the Week

Broken, Beat and Scarred” - Metallica

I went running last night, and today was supposed to be my day off. My running buddy asked if I'd go for a run with her at lunchtime, so of course I agreed. She had to cancel on me, but I went anyway. My muscles were twanging a little bit, and although it was a beautiful day, there was a bit of a headwind... so I figured that I'd choose some musical accompaniment that might encourage me to pick up my legs. In those circumstances, this is kind of my go-to selection. Even the MP3s are a bit louder than everything else I have on my iPod. It worked. I didn't think it was all that fast, as for half the run I was pushing into a headwind. But my Garmin tells me that I clocked 7.53 min/mile. So, er, pretty quick for me. Shows what I know.

"Little Sister" - Queens of the Stone Age

In my opinion, "Songs for the Deaf" towers over every other album that QotSA have produced.  I don't think that's controversial.  They are - a bit like the Foo Fighters - well capable of turning out some brilliant songs (and unlike the Foo Fighters, at least they've done at least one classic album).  This is one of those.  I wasn't that sold on this initially, but it's grown on me and was the best song I heard the band play at Download last year.

"Charge!" (as played on a crappy organ in an ice hockey game)

Maybe I've been watching too much Olympic ice hockey?  I love watching Canadians play hockey, and I love listening to Canadians talking about hockey.  That kind of enthusiasm for a sport is infectious.  I'd say that the only country that compares to this level of obsession is New Zealand for rugby, but for such a lovely people, they sure do lack a sense of humour on their favourite subject.  Give me a honey brown beer and a game of hockey in Canada any time.  Let's just not mention the curling, eh?

The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite” / “Electrolyte” – R.E.M.

A friend sent me scurrying to YouTube to watch R.E.M.'s cover of "Pale Blue Eyes" the other day.  It's not a patch on the Velvet Underground's original, but it did get me reaching for my copy of "Murmur", and from there I was into some of their later stuff too.  Damn good band, weren't they?  They're often mentioned in the same breath as The Smiths - their direct contemporaries, although they long outlasted them.  Michael Stipe is a lot less of a bellend than Morrissey though, eh?

Jesus” – The Velvet Underground

I love this album so much and I love this band.  It's no accident that - Scott Walker boxset aside - I own more Velvet Underground vinyl than any other band in my nascent collection.  Somehow the pops and crackles of a record player really suits this music.  I listened to this album instead of watching the Brits the other day.  I win.

Two Fingers” – Jake Bugg

Bugg became the first Nottingham act to sell out the Nottingham Arena when he played there last night.  I saw him playing Rock City a little while back, and then saw him at Glastonbury last summer.  He's good, no doubt about it, and I do really like his first album..... but perhaps it tells you something that I haven't bothered with his second.  Yet.  He's talented, for sure.... but he's increasingly striking me as a bit of a dick who is somewhat up himself and in hock to the cooler records in his uncle's record collection.  Perhaps I'm being unfair, but what on earth is someone so "authentic" doing writing with one of the blokes from Snow Patrol?  I'm told that this tune went down a storm with his home crowd last night, mind.

"No Surprises" - Radiohead

Two things struck me about this song when I listened to it the other day: the first was that it is a beautiful record.  The second was that they sound so English.  Could someone from another nation have written this song?  It's angsty, certainly, but it is passive-aggressively angsty and a world away from the anguish of the likes of Smashing Pumpkins or someone like that.

"You look so tired and unhappy
Bring down the government
They don't, they don't speak for us
I'll take a quiet life
A handshake of carbon monoxide

No alarms and no surprises"

They even throw in a "please", for goodness sake.  Great video too.  Really fantastic.

"The Second Law - Unsustainable" - Muse

"All natural and technological
Processes proceed in such
a way that the availability of the
remaining energy decreases

In all energy exchanges, if no energy
enters or leaves an isolated system
the entropy of that system increases

Energy continuously flows from being
concentrated to becoming dispersed
spread out, wasted and useless

New energy cannot be
created and high-grade
energy is being destroyed

An economy based on endless
growth is unsustainable


Ah, a song about the laws of thermodynamics. Must be Muse, right?  Bonkers and brilliant.

Sewn” – The Feeling

LB's interview with The Feeling is in the Evening Post today.  It must have been something of a thrill to interview a hero of his, but he reminded me the other day how we were both lucky enough to attend the band's first ever gig in Nottingham (at the Social), the week that they released this record.  It's a brilliant song, taken from a brilliant album.  I don't know if the new record is any good, but I'm seeing them next month at the Rescue Rooms (with LB, of course), and if it's anywhere as good as this, then we're in for a treat.

Right.  That's it.  Have a great weekend, y'all.

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